how to backup and restore your whatsapp chat history

You may have heard recently that it will no longer be possible to backup WhatsApp chats. While that’s not entirely true, WhatsApp is making changes to how backups work, so if you want to keep your conversations safe, you’ll need to take a couple of proactive steps.

WhatsApp announced that backups of chats saved to Google Drive that haven’t been used in more than one year will be deleted starting Nov. 12, 2018. While that may sound like a bad deal, your WhatsApp messages won’t count against your Google Drive storage cap going forward.

WhatsApp will continue to automatically backup your messages if you already have it set up to do so, though, so your future messages will be safe.

That means you may need to take action to save old messages, but you might not like the idea of WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, sharing your private messages with Google, which also has a reputation for intrusive data practices.

We’re going to show you how to backup messages to your phone and Google Drive, restore messages, protect your old messages from deletion and give you alternatives to Google Drive for a more secure experience.

What Is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a popular messaging application used around the world. It sends messages over the internet, so they don’t count against your texting cap, which is handy if you’re not on an unlimited plan.

It also enables you to make phone and video calls, which means you could skip having a phone plan altogether if all your contacts use WhatsApp. You can share files up to 100MB with other contacts on WhatsApp, too, making it a versatile communication app.

The app has end-to-end encryption, which sounds good, but it is owned by Facebook, and we all know how much that company likes to meddle with your personal data. If you’re looking for more secure alternatives, check out our article on encrypting text messages.

Backing up WhatsApp

If you want to backup WhatsApp for the first time, open it and go to the menu, click “settings,” “chats,” then “chat backup.”


You’ll see a button that says, “back up.” Clicking on it will backup your messages. WhatsApp will try to save your backups to your SD card first if you have one. If you don’t, it will save messages to your hard drive. WhatsApp will automatically create backups at 2 a.m. every day.

If you’re using the app on an Android phone, you can have it save your messages to Google Drive. Note that WhatsApp does not use end-to-end encryption to transfer your files from your phone to Google Drive. If you want to learn more about the cloud storage service, check out our Google Drive review and our Google Drive guide.

To set up automatic Google Drive backups, you’ll have to log in to your Google account on your phone, have Google Play installed and have enough free space to create the backup.

Once you’ve done that, navigate to the same “chat backup” menu as before and select the button that says “back up to Google Drive.” You can set WhatsApp to backup to Google Drive when you hit the “back up” button or to automatically backup daily, weekly or monthly.

You can also choose to let WhatsApp backup your messages over WiFi and cellular or force it to do so over WiFi only.

Note that every new automatic backup to Google Drive overwrites the last one, so, if you mistakenly delete something, you need to restore your messages before the next backup replaces the one you need.

Restoring WhatsApp Messages

To restore your WhatsApp messages from a backup, you’ll have to uninstall and reinstall the app. After that, once you’ve opened it and verified your phone number, you’ll be prompted to restore your chats from Google Drive. All you have to do is hit the “restore” button that pops up.

WhatsApp also automatically saves the last seven days of backups to your phone. If you use an SD card, you can find them in a folder called “WhatsApp/databases.” If you don’t, you’ll find them in a folder with the same name in your internal storage.

WhatsApp backups use the following file names: msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12. Identify the backup you want by the date, then change the filename to “msgstore.db.crypt12” by deleting the date information from the middle. That lets WhatsApp know you want to restore from that file.

The .crypt12 extension is the newest in a long series of file types WhatsApp has used. If you haven’t used the app in a while, there’s a chance you may still be using an older version. If that is the case, you might find the file is a .crypt11 or .crypt10. Don’t change it to .crypt12. Leave it as you find it or WhatsApp won’t be able to read it.

Once you’ve found and renamed the file, uninstall and reinstall WhatsApp and tap the “restore” button when it pops up.

Saving Old WhatsApp Messages

If you’ve been automatically backing up your messages with Google Drive, but you haven’t used the application in over a year as of Nov. 12, 2018, Google will delete your backup file. If you want to save it, you’ll need to do so manually.

First, log in to your Google account, then Google Drive. Navigate to your WhatsApp backup file, then right-click on it. Click on “make a copy.” A second version of the file will appear. You can move it to a new location in Google Drive to ensure it doesn’t get deleted or download it to your desktop by right-clicking and choosing “download.”

You can do the same using the Google Drive app on your phone.

Why You Should Use a Different Backup Service

The problem with saving your messages to your desktop is that they become prone to the same problems that all files on your computer experience. When your hard drive fails, they’re going to be gone forever.

You could use Google Drive to work around that, but then you’re opening your messages to scrutiny from Google. You could also lose quick access to your messages if you switch operating systems, since you can’t access your Google Drive files as easily on non-Android phones.

If you want the security and convenience of cloud storage with the peace of mind that comes from using a company that doesn’t read your data, we have a couple of suggestions. We’ve picked three of our best online backup providers that will make working with WhatsApp easiest.


IDrive is a great option for people who want to put their WhatsApp messages in cloud storage. You can backup unlimited devices with a single subscription, which means you can keep everything on your phone safe, as well as your desktop. You can get a free 5GB account with the company to try the service before committing to a monthly plan.

While IDrive isn’t the easiest cloud backup system to use, it makes up for it with a good price and great features, such as continuous backup and versioning, which lets you roll back files to a previous state. It also keeps up to 10 past versions of the files you’ve stored, making it more robust than WhatsApp’s local backups.

IDrive also encrypts files with AES 256-bit, which keeps them safe from prying eyes. If you want to learn more about IDrive, read our IDrive review.


Backblaze is another good option for backing up your WhatsApp files. The paid service comes with unlimited storage, so you’ll never run out of space, no matter how many files you backup. You can try it using the 15-day free trial. Backblaze only has one paid tier, which costs $5 per month, but you can save money by buying one or two-year plans.

That said, you only get backup for one device, so you’re out of luck if you want to backup your computer as well. You can learn more about the service in our BackBlaze review.

Acronis True Image

Our third pick for backing up your WhatsApp files is Acronis True Image. It has excellent Android and iOS apps, which makes it easy to backup files from your phone. It also includes a cloning tool that is useful for migrating files to a new smartphone.

Two notable features are Acronis Notary, which uses blockchain technology to ensure that your backups remain readable, and Active Protection, which scans your files for signs of ransomware.

You can test Acronis with a free 30-day trial. Plans start at $49.99 for one device. If you’re interested in learning more about it, our Acronis True Image review covers the service from top to bottom.

Starts from $ 434 per month for 2000 GB
Free plan available

Final Thoughts

There are many quick and easy ways to backup and restore your WhatsApp data, but that doesn’t mean they’re equally safe. If you don’t want Facebook or Google to have unwarranted access to your private messages, it’s worth it to invest in a cloud backup system that will keep your data protected.

It may cost you a little bit more than you’d like, but the peace of mind you get from knowing your information is secure is a benefit that’s hard to price. Doubly so if you do business transactions or messaging through WhatsApp.

Sign up for our newsletter
to get the latest on new releases and more.

If you have questions about backing up or restoring your WhatsApp messages, ask them in the comment section below. We’ll answer you and update the article, too. Thanks for reading.

Was this post helpful?

96 thoughts on “How To Backup and Restore WhatsApp Chat History in 2020”

  1. Thanks dude…It works…
    I have older backup file in my dropbox…I just replace it as u said…And on installation, i get back my all massages.

    Thanks once again.

    Umesh Patel

    1. Pls I don’t still get how to back up my messages and it is affecting me much
      Pls I need more enlightenment on how to back up my whatsapp without losing any messages

  2. My phone has been showing the wrong amount of chats from September 13 what should i do

    1. When trying to restore data from Google drive to new phone only media gets restored . I can’t find any conversations or chats while opening WhatsApp in new phone . Only the group names are displayed. Then I tried installing again in my old phone every chat was there. Am I doing something wrong. Pls help

  3. I am migrating from an iPhone 4. I have been backing up to iCloud. I want to access the icloud backup file, download, rename as you described, then make it available to my new Pixel 2. What options do I have that avoid questionable third party apps? Or, which is a trusted application with no bloatware / spam in the installer? My goal is to get that backup file into my possession. I can see when I use the iCloud Drive application for windows that the WhatsApp backup is there. When I open File Explorer and click on the iDrive folder, the WhatsApp backup file is NOT in there.

    1. Hi, My phone broke so had to get a new one. I logged in to WhatsApp and restored the chats history. I didn’t like the phone hence got IPhone which I was using for the first time. Upon installing WhatsApp there was option to restore and I skipped in hurry. When Whatsaap opened.No chats were visible except some groups. Does it mean that by skipping restore, I have lost all the chat history now? Is there any solution to this. There must definitely be some way. In anticipation of your response. Thanks

  4. A year ago (september 2017) I bought a new phone and backup all my messages into Google drive. I am using Whatsaap daily and it is automatically backing up my messages on a daily base. What I need to do till 12th of November because I do not want to lose messages? Do I actually need to do anything? I have a lot of space on Google drive left.


    Thank you for your help.

    1. - Chief Editor

      Hi hanna,

      For now you’re okay, the clock doesn’t start ticking till the 12th of Nov.

  5. By mistake I have cleared chat history with a particular person. Then I uninstalled and then reinstalled the whatsapp again, but it’s taking backup from the date when it was already deleted. I could not find msgstore file also. Have not taken backup on google drive.But there must be some back up otherwise how it was restored to the current back up…please guide how to do

  6. Hello; my dad’s WhatsApp messages accidentally got wiped out, and I don’t have the password to his Hotmail or cloud. He uses an iPhone. Can you offer any tips for recovering the messages, images and so?

    1. I’m having serious trouble restoring chats from the various folders permitted. I’ve renamed on several occasions just to make it work but nothing yet. I still have the backup files but the app isn’t finding them. What do I do? I will be in trouble if I don’t get these chats back

  7. Ive saved messages to Google drive. Un installed whats app. Got to the press restrore and it says it had been completed. Yet I’ve still not got any of my old messages. Any advice?

  8. I have more recent back-up in my internal drive but the restoring option only shows about google drive which was an old version. I deleted the google drive back up, now I can not restore any back up. I have saved the backup from internal memory with the “msgstore.db.crypt12” extension. But while installing the app, this option does not come for restoring. I need help with the problem as I want to restore the back up.

  9. I set my backup to never and now am not able to change it from “never” to Google Drive
    Need help

    1. Hi, can you let me know how to restore what app chat history backed up on windows Lumia 550 phone (one drive and sd card) to a new android phone?

  10. if i had mistakenly click the whtsapp contact report & block option my chat got deleted how can i restore all chats

  11. I tried to restore my WhatsApp backup from google drive to a new phone . Message said Backup found 37 GB – so I clicked restore . Error message appeared >> couldn’t restore messages – not enough internal storage space ( new phone has only 32 GB ) . Tried to exit this process but error message said – if do not restore backup now , will not be able to restore backup later ! does it mean all backup will be lost and I would not be able to restore the WhatsApp backup later even on a phone with sufficient internal storage ? or does it mean that backup will not be restored on this phone ( insufficient internal ) only ?
    Please help … Thank you very much .

  12. Hi. Someone Please help me. Recently i have backed up my WhatsApp chats to the Google Drive and uninstalled Whatsapp. Later when I tried installing it again, i found that there is no chat backup available in the drive. And I couldn’t retrieve my previous chats. I contacted Google Support team and they confirmed that my chat backup is missing but they couldn’t help as the whatsapp backups will be saved on whatsapp servers only. And they asked me to contact whatsapp support team. I mailed the WhatsApp support but they didn’t help either. Someone please guide me.

    1. - Chief Editor

      Pretty sure those chats are lost, Rakesh, sorry.

  13. Hi there can anyone advise on if its possible to transfer whatsapp bavkup chats from android(google drive) to iphone(icloud). Want to do it for father as he has many messages related to work which he wants. Thanks

    1. - Chief Editor

      Just download them to your hard drive, then upload them to iCloud. No worries.

    2. I was backing up my messages when my chat suddenly cleared and it was still backing up when I want to restore it will my last messages still show because it cleared while it was still backing up

  14. I recently changed from Android to i Phone because my Note 4 started acting up and I couldn’t get anything from it nor use apps, it was stuck in Ultra Power Saving Mode and I couldn’t take it off. How can I restore my chats from Android to iPhone?

  15. Hello, I would like to recover old deleted chats in whatsapp. I have my android phone set to back up automatically every week. I have read that the last back up overrides the last one. Is that mean that I can only recuperate the chats from the last week or I can also get the ones I have been erasing for almost a year? Can you please help?

    1. - Chief Editor

      No, it’s fine, the whole history up tpo the week before is overwritten then replaced with the whole history up to now.

  16. I am not able to restore my db.crypt which i have in my local device. When i uninstall and installed its stating no backup found on drive.

    Is it possible to restore my data which is in local device.

    Note: I have placed the db file inisde databases folder and tried but dint work

    Plz Suggest

  17. Google Drive doesn’t give the possibility to copy or download the Whatsapp backup file to the laptop, whether on the phone or the laptop. After right-clicking on the file, it gives me 3 options: preview, turn off backup, delete backup. Can anything be done??

    1. - Chief Editor

      Try and change the privacy settings of the folder, maybe? Let us know if that works 🙂

      1. How do I do that? I can change the privacy settings of all folders and files, except the backup files… 🙁

    1. - Chief Editor

      You can’t, unless you backed up your chats before deleting your account.

  18. I forgot to make a Whatsapp Backup on Google Drive before I switched phones. I already activated Whatsapp on the new phone. Can I still put my sim card in the old phone, make a backup in Google Drive and then reinstall Whatsapp on the new phone? Will I then be prompted to restore the backup?

    1. - Chief Editor

      Not sure, but I doubt it. I suggest giving it a try and posting the results here.

  19. Alternative: use Firefox with “singlefile” addon. Change settings as needed. Connect WhatsApp Web. Select chat. Scroll all the way up to the beginning of the chat. Click all media to make them visible. Click the addon.
    Worked for me…

  20. Hello,

    How can I restore my old conversation from a backup while keeping the actual messages which are not backed-up? in other way: merge the actual message with the back-up.


  21. Hi
    I don’t have access to my phone at the moment, yet I have WhatsApp desktop version.
    I want to export only one important chat from my WhatsApp PC version and delete it all. However, I can’t find any option to do so through my desktop version.
    Any idea on how I can do this?

  22. I’m running WhatsApp on an old Android Gingerbread handset, without much memory. So I have to backup/restore when usage gets >16MB, but despite being disciplined (keeping no more than about 100 recent messages), it then Restores nearly 800 messages! How can I tame its storage?

  23. Hello
    I have a Motorola Moto G3.
    I deleted one of my WhatsApp chats by mistake, followed online advice and re-installed WhatsApp,
    but it does not give me the option to restore my chats from internal memory, only from Google Drive which I do not use. Re-installed WhatsApp several times but with no success. Please can you help.
    Many Thanks,
    Regards Tory

    1. - Chief Editor

      If you didn’t back up before deleting the chat, you’re out of luck, I’m afraid.

  24. I have set google drive back up as NEVER.
    Deleted messages and photos by mistake today morning.
    is there any way to take it back?

  25. Hello, Accidently I have deleted a conversation begin of April with many photo’s and video’s. The first time trying to restore a backup my most recent backup did not show. Therefore I thought I lost it. Now I learn that there are backup files up to last 7 days and even older to find within internal storage. Since my whatsapp continued backing up after reinstallation I only see the last 7 backups from this past week. My question here is where to find a backup from at last April 3th.

    Many many thanks!!!

    1. - Chief Editor

      Hi Yasmine, as far as I can tell, WhatsApp overwrites each backup, so if the one file is lost, all are, I’m afraid.

      1. Hi Fergus, Thank you for you response! Perfectly understood. Though I heard that an older back up might be still available (possibly in hiddenfile) and I wonder how to uncover this?
        Since I still only see the files from 7 days up to today in the databases while I ticked the “show hidden files”box in several file manager apps I tried

  26. Thanks for your comment.
    Help me please.
    I got a new iPhoneX to replace my old iPhone 6. I thought I backed up everything. I placed the two phone sets side by side and everything seemed to have backed up nicely. Until I discovered that:
    1. I had been locked out of every Whatasapp chat group; and,
    2. All messages from September 2019 till yesterday 9 May 2019) had disappeared.
    There was a 24-hour gap or overlap where my old phone number was transferred onto the new SIM card sent with the iPhoneX. (I changed providers as well but he old contract expires in 6 days’ time) and I will have only one provider.
    How can I get those messages from Sept 2018 please. I tried chat backup but it asked me to delete files to free up 5MB of space. I’ve deleted many and all videos but still no joy.
    Thank you.

  27. “To restore your WhatsApp messages from a backup, you’ll have to uninstall and reinstall the app.”
    But I can’t uninstall the app because my phone comes pre-loaded with my WhatsApp (Note 7 FE). It’s a system app, the most I can do is disable it. And because I can never uninstall it, I never get the option to restore messages from backup. Nice, huh? WhatsApp must know that many phones have its app preinstalled. Have they really not thought to provide an alternative for people in that position?

  28. I deleted a conversation which had 2 years of history.then I accidentally clicked can o restore messages before the recent back up?

  29. hi am having a hard time getting my chats whatsapp chaT BACK is rthere a way i can recover them i tried to restore yesterday nothing happend

  30. How many days backup that we can restore from the Whatsapp/database/internal storage/ folder. Is it only 7 days or a month or the whole chat history.

  31. help me please,
    i’m using android phone and i need to restore all messages in Iphone, but the default backup was Icloud, is there any tools that can i use to transfer the google drive backup to icloud. thank you

  32. I have set my whatsapp backup to ‘never’. Is it possible to restore my deleted chat when I reinstall my whatsapp

  33. By mistake I have cleared chat history with a particular person. Then I uninstalled and then reinstalled the whatsapp again, but it’s taking backup from the date when it was already deleted. I could not find msgstore file also. Have not taken backup on google drive.But there must be some back up otherwise how it was restored to the current back up…please guide how to do

    1. - Chief Editor

      If the save file was overwritten, you’re out of luck, I’m afraid.

  34. WhatsApp says my chat data is corrupt and I should backup my data and reinstall the app. However, I couldn’t backup any data from the app and after deleting one chat the app now can’t even open. Is it possible to backup the data file to a pc and then reinstall the app. Is there a link that shows the steps? Thanks.

    1. - Chief Editor

      No, I have a feeling you might be badly out of luck there. You may have to start with a blank WhatsApp.

  35. I skipped the restore part during installing whatsapp
    Is there any way to do it manually after installation
    Is there a

    1. - Chief Editor

      Yeah, under “settings,” go to “backup” and there is an option there.

  36. Good day. I was chatting on Whatsapp with my phone and laptop at the same time (due to file I want to upload). On my phone it just went Initializing,when it finished I just saw that my 5years messages and documents have bee cleared. My backup is weekly. I went to my settings to Uninstall and Install again from place store and it brought RESTORE and I clicked it but it only restore the particular day message.

  37. I was robbed my phone sometimes last evening today upon replacing the smartphone and sim card , whatsapp had a backup 405mb i was driving to work and restoeing the same along the highway,after an hour the network was an issue and whatsapp restored very few (only group chats) how comes when i try retrieving in backup it prompts me back up instead of restore. Where is my 405mb? Kindly guide me whether there is a link i can manually download my backu

  38. I backed up my chats before deleting my whatsapp account. I reactive it now but i forget to press restore button. how i can recover my whatsapp chats?. Thanks.

    1. - Chief Editor

      Just go into your settings and there’s a backup function you can activate.

  39. Hey Fergus, have you managed to successfully upload the .crypt12 db to iCloud and have the WhatsApp conversation history successfully import? I’ve been trying for many hours, and still unsuccessful. There’s a hidden iCloud folder where WA backups are stored, which I believe I’ve found/accessed via terminal, but moving that .crypt12 file in there didn’t help. In fact, the amount of used storage space didn’t increase when I did this, so I presume this was the wrong file…

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

  40. Hi there… i am in a trouble. Would you be kind enough to help me out? For some reason i had to uninstall my whatsapp before the following back up. However, after an hour or so, when i reinstalled it, only messages earlier to the last backup are showing up. Not the ones i had in between. Is there any possible way to get them back? Please, say something positive! I NEED those!

  41. I had set google drive back up for my mobile. On opening drive it shows there are four whats app back up. But I am unable to recover those files. On right clicking only window appears having option like turn off and delete back up. Is there a way to restore files from drive

  42. i have one backup from 31 august 2019 and the other backup from 15 july 2019. i want to restore both backups on my new phone. what is the procedure for this. thanks in advance

  43. good day..i have now msgstore.db.crypt5 messages which belongs to official whatsapp since 2014, but the last year the whatsapp +4 found and restored them and everything is okay, recently i had to install the official whatsapp instead of whatsapp +4 and it looks it’s msgstore.db.crypt12..what can i do to convert 12 to 5 ? or what are solutions? sorry for long me please..thank u

  44. I loose all my clients chats after I made update for Whatsap,and these chats are all my job,is there any way to return it back please??

  45. my whats app chat and media is already restored and backed up on my new phone. but now i see a “skip media restore” button coming up… if i click on it will i loose whatever is already restored or will it stay?!

      1. only 30% of my whatsapp data was backup. i installed new whatsapp in new phone and enter my number their. only 30% is showing chats. how can i restore all my data from old phone. that i can restore it to new phone. Please guide

        1. - Chief Editor

          Try and reupload from your old phone, if it’ll let you.

  46. my last backup was February and my old phone is damaged. how do i get recent chats back to my new phone?

  47. Hello Fergus
    Good day
    Was using my wife mobile for time being with my mobile numbers which was registered in WhatsApp haven’t uninstalled WhatsApp but was able to use with my profile and used to backup daily
    Now when I have installed WhatsApp on my phone with my mail I’d.Data got restored but of January not the recent one
    Could you please help me with a resolution.

    1. - Chief Editor

      Hi Sai,

      Sorry, that one is beyond my ken, you’re going to have to reach out to WhatsApp support and pray.

      Good luck!

  48. Dear sir ,
    My last backup was in 2 days can i restore it as second time to a new phone without erase anything ?

  49. Hi Fergus.
    As I don’t like backing up to Google Drive, before factory resetting my Samsung S9 I located the WhatsApp folder in my phone and manually copied all its content to a folder in my desktop.
    After resetting the phone, I reinstalled WhatsApp skipping the restore from Google Drive option. I then copied all the WhatsApp files from the folder in my desktop and replaced all the files in the WhatsApp folder in my phone. Restarted my phone and opened WhatsApp and realized that my old chats where not there, the app started from scratch.
    My copy of the crypt12 database file didn’t have any date in the middle so I didn’t have to change the name of the file before copying it to the WhatsApp folder in my phone.
    What am I doing wrong?

  50. Hello. I tried the following method to backup my old messages: WhatsApp backups use the following file names: msgstore-YYYY-MM-DD.1.db.crypt12. Identify the backup you want by the date, then change the filename to “msgstore.db.crypt12” by deleting the date information from the middle. That lets WhatsApp know you want to restore from that file.

    The problem is that I have many backup files with the same name and I’m not able to rename more than one to “crypt12” as the filename already exists. What do I do in this situation?

  51. How can I backup only chats and not anything else into Google drive backup?
    And also, how can I delete already backed up images in Google drive?

  52. I restored What’sApp using last nights icloud backup on my iphone. Before I did that I chatted with someone. I noticed that my Chat successfully restored to last night. For them, is their chat also restored to last night. Or can they see what was posted today?

Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Also interesting
How to Restore Older Versions of a Backed Up File
How to Restore a Deleted Backup File
Cloud Dock to Integrate Cloud Services
Mega Updates iPhone App to Offer Added Security and PhotoSync Ability
Most popular on Cloudwards
Cloud Storage ReviewsBest Free Cloud Storage for 2020:, pCloud, MEGA & More
Best of The Big Three: Dropbox vs Google Drive vs Onedrive
How to Beat the Netflix VPN Ban
How to Unblock YouTube: Video Streaming for Everyone